Since its inception last year, Café con Leche Republicans has done an exceptional job in raising the level of discourse regarding US Latino issues by trying to be respectful of different points of view. Our own page has cross-linked several CCLR's pieces in the interest of trying to bring a more broader perspective of US Latino issues in this country and where different groups' stand on those issues. We don't agree with CCLR on many things, but we do respect them for engaging their community and for trying to reach out to different voices. They raise the bar of political discourse with class and intelligence.
This afternoon on their page (a page we read a lot) we came across the following post entitled "Class and No Class Hispanics." written by Raoul Lowery Contreras, who is frequent contributor to the site. From the title alone, we had our concerns, because Lowery Contreras is already politicizing the issue. You can read the whole post here (UPDATE: CCLR has since deleted that post, see the comment and their apology at the end of this piece), but we also shared some of the excerpts that really made us scratch our head and go wha? Does every ill about Latino society and the US have to be so partisan?
Culturally in our Hispanic community, children rate highly with us and we collectively see to it that our children are socialized to a degree that they revel in their culture and family, close and extended. Unfortunately for our Hispanic community, there are many, however, that seem to lose interest in their children and their education when children reach puberty.
One wonders if those who lose or don’t have interest in their children’s education belong to the group that mostly birth children, without benefit of marriage. Are these people those among us who behave like crabs in a bucket who constantly grab and drag back any of their genus that look for ways to escape the bucket?
Do they intentionally torpedo any educational chance their children have because they don’t want their children to succeed? As cold as that sounds, how does one explain the lack of educational desire among so many Hispanics? Is language the problem? If so why do third generation Hispanic/Latino kids who speak little Spanish not do their homework, nor read, nor pay attention and can’t wait to drop out of school?
And then this one:
We should not be surprised that among us are many different people for we Hispanics/Latinos, are human. In this diverse context, however, I posit there are but two classes of people.
Class one: Those who observe the rules of the village by marrying a spouse before they bear a child, the child that is the reason to exist.
Class one (a): Those that work within village rules to make sure a social contract exists and is enforced.
Class one (b): Those, through elected representatives, who collectively lay on and pay taxes so the community can protect all and make roads to traverse freely to places we want to go or have to go to or to send and receive mail and to provide an army to protect us nationally
Class one (c): They enjoy work and work hard; they decry those who don’t.
Class one (d): They render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.
Class one (e): They appreciate what they earn; they deprecate what is handed to many that do not work for it, who revel in freebies we pay for. Class one (f): They define as fair if all share the burden and unfair if 50% of us earn money but do not share the burden.
Class Two: If one revels in having others work to feed them, to pay taxes they should pay…If one does nothing to further the education of their children or the children of others…If they persist in having children without marrying or if the mother persists in pregnancies by men she does not marry…If pregnant Hispanic women enjoy booze and drugs while pregnant…If child mothers show up at Welfare for their grants more than once…
If these Class Two conditions apply, we can definitely predict that these people will take the Obama fork in the road and vote for another four years of President Obama like they did in 2008.
So, in the end, after all their talk about immigration reform, raising the level of political discourse, treating people with different points of view respectfully, CCLR would publish the comments of a contributor who is basically saying: If you don't believe in hard work and traditional values, you are for Obama because you are a lazy ass. You have been duped, Latino.
Latino pregnant women who enjoy "booze and drugs" and those who allow these women to do this are 100% for Obama's vision of an entitlement society. And that parents who raise kids and are not married are just bad for society, even though some of these parents are busting their tails to raise their kids.
Hey, if you lose your job and can't make it for a few months while you are out there pounding the pavement to find another job, you are just sucking off the government and for Obama. Contreras' comments are sexist, classist, and do nothing to actually try to UNITE different Latino voices. CCLR just went from an organization that actually made some reasonable and intelligent arguments to a group that right now is in bizarre Crazy Cuckoo Land.
We really thought that CCLR would not be so "partisan" in its thinking, but we guessed wrong.
They are quick to condemn the Taco Mayors and Joe Arpaios of their political party, but then publish a contributor like Contreras who writes with absolute certainty that unless you don't believe in hard work and traditional values, you are just an Obama apologist and you are ignorant and blind. Now CCLR is part of the partisan game, we really thought they would be different, but now they will only piss people off, cloud their mission, and hurt their credibility. The big secret about all this is that a lot of independent voices were engaging them. After this, who knows.
The damage has been done, we really hope they take the time to see how hurtful that piece was to Latina women, and other voters who aren't Obama apologists. Guess this is what happens when you endorse Newt Gingrich.
The fear and misinformation that CCLR tries to combat every day with what they do loses all its credibility with this Contreras post. Knowing them, we are sure they will respond to all this, but it is going to be hard now that Contreras' piece is out there. Although we wouldn't be surprised that that piece might be Contreras' last piece for CCLR.
How do they try to save a little face? Two thoughts:
1. Admit they goofed on this piece. Big time. Raise the level of discourse again. They are better than this.
2. Let Contreras write somewhere else, but not on their page. Dile adiós al Sr. Contreras. Gracias pero no gracias.